Entry Clearances

Home Department written question – answered on 11th February 2009.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon UUP, North Down

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average waiting time for responses to visa applications has been in each of the last five years.

Photo of Phil Woolas Phil Woolas Minister of State (also in the Home Office), Home Office, Minister of State (also in the Home Office), HM Treasury

Public service agreement (PSA) target times for processing visa applications during FY 2004-05 to FY 2007-08 were as follows:

PSA 1: 90 per cent. of straightforward non-settlement applications processed in 24 hours;

PSA 2: 90 per cent. of non-settlement applications requiring further inquires to be processed within 15 working days;

PSA 3: 90 per cent. of applicants for settlement visas to be assessed or interviewed within in 50 working days.

The UK Border Agency retained the same targets for visa processing from April 2008. Our performance against these targets is shown in the following table.

Data for years prior to FY 2006-07 are not available.

FY 2008-09(Apr-Dec) FY 2007-08 FY 2006-07
PSA 1 84 89 89
PSA 2 86 93 94
PSA 3 82 93 91

The data for 2007/08 and 2008/09 are unpublished and should be treated as provisional.


Central Reference System, 29 January 2009

New customer service standards for visa processing times were introduced in January 2009 and are published on the Border Agency's Visa Services website, together with actual monthly processing times for each visa-issuing post.

These are end-to-end processing times which include processing at Visa Application Centres (run by our commercial partners) as well as processing at Visa Sections.

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